Haitian Studies Association
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The Character Assassination of Haiti (November 1, 2021)

Co-sponsored by Union Theological Seminary, Haitian Studies Association, and In Cultured Company.
Since Haiti’s successful establishment of the second nation-state in the Americas, Bwa Kayiman has been falsely claimed as Haiti making a pact with the devil in order to be emancipated and independent. This conversation will critically analyze the role imperialism, Christianity, and anti-Blackness have had on Haiti’s current politics, history, and spirituality.

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The Energy Potential of Marine Macroalgae in Haiti

Haiti, like most Caribbean countries, faces a growing energy crisis due to the increasing costs of fossil fuels and the lack of indigenous domestic energy supplies. Biofuels are increasingly considered as alternatives to fossil fuels to power modern societies, but they carry their own negative environmental impacts and limitations. In order for biofuels to make a more positive impact on the energy economy of Haiti, three conditions must be met: (i) a new source of millions of tons of sustainably sourced biomass must be discovered with fewer negative environmental impacts than fuel wood; (ii) the biomass must be safely and efficiently transformed into a useful fuel to serve the needs of homes and industries; and (iii) an entire transportation and distribution network has to be created to place this new energy supply in the hands of the end users. Today, we will discuss our research into turning sargassum seaweed into useful biogas energy.

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33rd Annual Conference – Recording of Plenary “Haiti in Crisis” (October 23, 2021)

Without a doubt, Haiti’s ongoing crisis will reach a nadir in late October 2021. Following his illegitimate election and extraconstitutional hold on power after a bogus constitutional plebiscite, the regime crisis will be reaching a climax of resistance to tyranny. Whether or not liberal institutions or constructivist ideas can overcome power disparities in some contexts, Haiti has always had a “state against the nation” Now independently sanctioned violence has been privatized or subcontracted enforcement. A system of extortion and embezzlement is subtle, but still continuing from the roots of Duvalierism established through the Macoute networks.

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33rd Annual Conference – Recording of Keynote Panel (October 22, 2021)

Thinking through our professional, disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses, we ask: What does truly transformational scholarship look like? How do we foreground perspectives that have historically been excluded and paint a more complete picture of Haiti’s past and the possibilities for her future?

This keynote panel offers an opportunity for a conversation with three people who work full time in Haiti, with one foot in the academic world and another in a host of public engagement. The conference theme – and the current historical moment – demand a new praxis, using Gramscian terminology. What role does scholarship play in solutions?

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The Rights to Live Creatively (October 20, 2021)

As the first official convening of the HSA Sexualities Working Group, this event builds on “The Rights to Live Creatively,” a series of conversations and roundtables we facilitated in Fall 2020. We gather to share knowledge and galvanize our commitments, interests, and labor. The first hour of this meeting will feature presentations by Haiti-based community organizers Merlin Jean and Vadson Nicholas, Directors of Cap Haitien-based human rights organization Heritage; Sandy Pierre, Community Activist of Organisation Arc-en-Ciel d’Haiti (ORAH); and Soeurette Policar, Executive Director of Organisation de Développement et de Lutte contre la Pauvreté (ODELPA). In the second hour, we will move into conversation and action planning with all attendees. What are the stakes of “living creatively” in Haiti at this moment? How might we build transnational solidarity projects together?

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The Roots Are Many and Deep: Social, Cultural, and Spiritual Dimensions of Haiti’s Ecological Crisis (Oct. 19, 2021)

On boarding the ship to his captivity in 1802, Toussaint L’Ouverture delivered a characterization of liberty that would become famous: its roots are many and deep. In the 217 years since Haiti’s independence, the nation’s liberty has been challenged, its roots entangled with invasive species, likewise many and deep. This meeting of HSA’s Working Group on the Environment (Konbit) will present the multidisciplinary perspectives of five scholars and activists. After introductory remarks—presenters’ names and affiliations and discussion ground rules—each of the five presenters will make a statement of no more than five minutes in order to allow maximum time for comments, questions, and discussion with attendees. The meeting will end with an announcement from our blog/vlog team about the progress of that effort, and with suggested ways for all to become involved.

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33rd Annual Conference – Conference Program (October 21-23, 2021)

Public Conference Program is now available.

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Conference Special Events (Oct 21-23, 2021)

Throughout our conference we will have a series of special events: advocacy panels, keynotes, plenaries, social mixers, and more. You can read details about these events on this page.

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Pre-Conference Events: Working Groups (Oct 16-20, 2021)

In the week leading up to our annual conference, our three Working Groups are hosting their own sessions to discuss their projects: “Archives and Public Memory in Haiti and the Diaspora”, “The Roots Are Many and Deep: Social, Cultural, and Spiritual Dimensions of Haiti’s Ecological Crisis”, and “The Rights to Live Creatively”.

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Protected: Conference Program: Nou La Pi Rèd Toujou! Embodying a New Praxis

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Be a part of the solution – Join H.S.A. and partners in Advocacy Day (October 21, 2021)

2021 has seen an unprecedented series of disasters for the world’s first free Black republic: in addition to COVID and its economic crisis, Haitian people have faced a constitutional crisis, state-sanctioned violence and human rights violations – both in Haiti and along the U.S.-Mexico border – the assassination of the president, two earthquakes and a deadly hurricane with several more months in the hurricane season extended because of climate change.

Haitian Studies Association has attempted to step up and fulfill our responsibility to make our reservoir of knowledge accessible to journalists, activists, and policymakers, convoking timely conversations. If you haven’t already done so, please register for Monday’s emergency brainstorming with Haitian Bridge Alliance on what to do about the situation on the border, 8 p.m. Eastern.

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Advocacy Day Workshop Sustainable Political Advocacy (October 21, 2021)

For starters—what is policy advocacy and how is it different from, and complementary to, political activism? Moreover, working for justice on any issue, including through policy advocacy, is an exhausting process, especially in complex contexts like Haiti. As so many issues are pressing for our time and attention, we risk burnout and being overworked. Learn how to craft an approach to policy advocacy that also acknowledges the need for self-care and maintaining energy for long-term, effective engagement. Attendees will come away with best practices for advocacy and a deeper understanding of various advocacy tools and how to use them.

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Advocacy Day Briefing: Disentangling Discourses of Disaster (October 21, 2021)

As part of a multi-day advocacy effort to bring up-to-date information and analysis from community and civic leaders in Haiti, this public briefing aims to educate and empower scholars, activists, journalists, aid practitioners, and policymakers. Even before the assassination of president Jovenel Moïse, organizations in Haiti engaged a process of reconciliation and dialogue in an attempt to assert Haitian people as the center of debates in reimagining the country and offering a democratic transition that would be diverse and inclusive. The July 7 assassination laid bare both the importance and fragility of this effort. A public briefing held two weeks later brought up the continuities of misrule and domination by both foreign and national elite interests.

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Emergency Brainstorming Session: What can we do about the violations at the U.S. Border? (September, 27 2021)

We at H.S.A. feel distraught and sad by the inhumane, racist, imperialist and colonialist treatment of our Haitian brothers and sisters at the border. Please see this Call to Action by H.S.A. and our sister Black academic professional associations.

Given the magnitude of the situation we would like to come together as scholars, activists and practitioners to brainstorm about some concrete actions we can take to support our brothers and sisters. To that end we are holding a brainstorming  meeting on Monday, September 27 at 8 pm EST/7p.m. CT/5 p.m. PT. We will meet with a representative from the Haitian Bridge Alliance to think about some concrete and strategic ways we can work with other organizations to provide our services.

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